Now in one volume a selection of the essential writings from Peter F. Drucker's sixty years of work on management.
The first selection of Drucker's management work from The Practice of Management (1954) to Management Challenges for the 21st Century (1999), this book offers, in Drucker's words, "a coherent and fairly comprehensive Introduction to [and] gives an overview of my works on management and thus answers a question I have been asked again and again: ... which of my writings are essential "
The Essential Drucker contains twenty-six selections on management in the organization, management and the individual, and management and society. It covers the basic principles and concerns of management and its problems, challenges, and opportunities, giving managers, executives, and professionals the tools to perform the tasks that the economy and society of tomorrow will demand of them.
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June 26, 2001
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Excerpt from The Essential Drucker by Peter F. Drucker
THE ORIGIN AND PURPOSE OF
THE ESSENTIAL DRUCKER
The Essential Drucker is a selection from my sixty years of work and writing on management. It begins with my book The Future of Industrial Man (1942) and ends (so far at least) with my 1999 book Management Challenges for the 21st Century.
The Essential Drucker has two purposes. First, it offers, I hope, a coherent and fairly comprehensive Introduction to Management. But second, it gives an Overview of my works on management and thus answers a question that my editors and I have been asked again and again, Where do I start to read Drucker Which of his writings are essential
Atsuo Ueda, longtime Japanese friend, first conceived The Essential Drucker. He himself has had a distinguished career in Japanese management. And having reached the age of sixty, he recently started a second career and became the founder and chief executive officer of a new technical university in Tokyo. But for thirty years Mr. Ueda has also been my Japanese translator and editor. He has actually translated many of my books several times as they went into new Japanese editions. He is thus thoroughly familiar with my work -- in fact, he knows it better than I do. As a result he increasingly got invited to conduct Japanese conferences and seminars on my work and found himself being asked over and over again -- especially by younger people, both students and executives at the start of their careers -- Where do I start reading Drucker
This led Mr. Ueda to reread my entire work, to select from it the most pertinent chapters and to abridge them so that they read as if they had originally been written as one cohesive text. The result was a three-volume essential Drucker of fifty-seven chapters -- one volume on the management of organizations; one volume on the individual in the society of organizations; one on society in general -- which was published in Japan in the summer and fall of 2000 and has met with great success. It is also being published in Taiwan, mainland China and Korea, and in Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil.
It is Mr. Ueda's text that is being used for the U.S. and U.K. editions of The Essential Drucker. But these editions not only are less than half the size of Mr. Ueda's original Japanese version -- twenty-six chapters versus the three-volumes' fifty-seven. They also have a somewhat different focus. Cass Canfield Jr. at HarperCollins in the United States -- longtime friend and my U.S. editor for over thirty years -- also came to the conclusion a few years ago that there was need for an introduction to, and overview of, my sixty years of management writings. But he -- rightly -- saw that the U.S. and U.K. (and probably altogether the Western) audience for such a work would be both broader and narrower than the audience for the Japanese venture. It would be broader because there is in the West a growing number of people who, while not themselves executives, have come to see management as an area of public interest; there are also an increasing number of students in colleges and universities who, while not necessarily management students, see an understanding of management as part of a general education; and, finally, there are a large and rapidly growing number of mid-career managers and professionals who are flocking to advanced-executive programs, both in universities and in their employing organizations.